MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A dredging project is underway that might save the commercial shrimping industry in McClellanville.
Mayor Rutledge Leland says it's been about ten years since Jeremy Creek was dredged and now it's finally happening.
He says it was needed for the sake of the commercial shrimpers who make their living here.
"We were just getting to the point where the boats couldn't move along the at all, they were running out of water." Leland said.
The mayor says at one time, the town was in the rotation for dredging every five years, but was suddenly dropped.
After making his case for the money, Leland says last spring the Army Corps of Engineers approved money for the project.
The dredging barge has been working non stop for about a week, deepening the creek to ten feet.
Bill Livingston who has a seafood company in town, says if the dredging didn't happen, his business would be up the creek.
"We can't sell the shrimp to the public," Livingston said.
Mayor Leland says dredging the creek is just one part of the solution.
There's a basin where shrimpers turn their boats around that also needs dredging.
"It's so shallow now that hardly anybody can ever get in there to use it, so without dredging it will probably just show up to the point where it's totally unusable," Leland said.
The Corps of Engineers says the town will have to apply for more money to dredge that part of the creek.
Leland says this dredging project should be finished in a week to ten days.
The Army Corps of Engineers appropriated a $2.1 million to dredge both Jeremy Creek and Breach Inlet.